Behind The Junk Trim

by Josh on July 21, 2006 · 0 comments

in Journal

Some people (like my Minneapolis neighbor, StuccoHouse) must use a ladder and a prybar to tear off their aftermarket outside trim. I must be really lucky, because my junk trim is falling off all on its own.

Boarded up bracket Here is a picture of one of the brackets that support the gable ends of the roof. Every gable on the house has at least three of them. As you can see, someone in the house’s past embellished the brackets with some additional lumber to fill in nooks and crannies. On both sides of each bracket, there is a triangle of plywood filling the negative space between the angle brace and the horizontal and vertical members of the bracket, and a rectangular piece of plywood enclosing the space above the bracket to the roof deck. I suspect this was done to eliminate potential nesting sites for birds.

Fallen board Since we bought the house, I have been curious to see what is behind the plywood, but until I find an alternative way to bird-proof the brackets, I haven’t been motivated to bother with them. But when I came home to find one of the plywood sheets lying in the grass in the front yard (I propped it up for the photo), I decided the house was inviting me to satisfy my curiosity.

Beehive behind fallen board The first thing I noticed about the now-visible space above the bracket was the bee’s nest attached to the roof boards. It looked pretty old, but I figured I should spray it with pesticide just in case. It was also obvious by the paint line that the current green trim color was added after the trim boards were installed on the brackets. I have wanted to figure out the original exterior paint scheme for the house and this looked like an opportunity to discover some clues.

Yellow paint under brown Upon closer inspection, I found four different paint layers just by looking for paint slop and chipping. It looks to me like the trim is painted green over brown over cream over yellow. The picture at the right captures the four colors pretty well. I exposed the yellow paint by flaking off some paint in that spot. Without more scraping, I can’t be sure if the yellow is the original color or if there are additional layers beneath that. Since I am not prepared to repaint what I uncover, I decided to leave my paint archaeology at this point. For this vintage of bungalow, yellow as an original accent color would probably not be out of the question, but final resolution of the issue will have to wait.

My curiosity about the brackets and the house’s color history satisfied for now, I nailed the ugly trim board back in place before the pigeons could claim it for a roost. I am looking forward to liberating those brackets from their plywood embellishments more than ever, but I’m not ready to take on that job yet.

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